SEPTEMBER 6, 1938
HYDE PARK, Monday—Last week I finally got around to doing two things I have been wanting to do all summer.
One was to visit Bard College. Columbia College has agreed really to consider it as part of its family and the money has been raised to keep it functioning. Therefore, Bard College is now making plans for increasing its usefulness not only to its own students, but to the community around it which has shown so much loyalty and interest.
I was particularly attracted by some of the old pictures of the Bard family and some of the letters and books which form part of an exhibition in the library. I asked them to copy one delightful love letter. For the benefit of those who may never visit Bard College, I shall put it into my column when it reaches me, as a model of the way a gentleman should write to the lady whom he loves.
I was very much struck by the little theatre where the students themselves have done so much practical work in designing scenery, costumes and arranging the necessary lighting, thus actually learning the mechanics of producing a play.
The country surrounding this college and the building seem to me quite delightful and I could not help feeling that if I were young enough to go to college, I would far rather be in an atmosphere of this kind than in a large university where one would have far less touch with the faculty. This particular faculty, judging by the few men I have met, seems to have some people who would prove stimulating on further acquaintance, at least they give you a desire to know them better.
After leaving Bard College, we went to Ward Manor. Part of this place was originally one of the old Livingston homes and the grounds have great charm. They have a number of old people there in homes which have been endowed. In summer they rent some bungalows for a nominal price to families who bring their children and settle down. In addition, there are camps for boys and girls of all ages. The youngsters who paraded for us and did various stunts were certainly a healthy, happy looking lot and I could not help being grateful that they had these five weeks in the country away from the city streets and the harmful influences which must attend activity.
Mr. Will Matthews seems to be the heart of the management. He tells me that he has a devoted committee, but his wife murmured that he spent five days of every week on the grounds watching everything which was done. The place is farmed, so young and old may find some useful work to do if they are able. Apparently it is well farmed, so that if any of the youngsters like country life, they are obtaining some really valuable training.